Cetera Financial Group said Monday that it tapped J. David Ballard, a former AIG Advisor Group (AIG) executive, to become its chief operating officer. Starting next week, Ballard will report to Cetera CEO Larry Roth.
Roth was CEO and president of the Advisor Group before moving to RCS Capital (RCAP), Cetera’s parent company, in September 2013. He led the distribution unit of RCS Capital, Realty Capital Securities, and then became CEO of RCAP’s network of independent broker-dealers last year, after the group acquired Cetera Financial. (RCS subsequently hired Bill Dwyer, a retired LPL Financial (LPLA) executive, to lead Realty Capital Securities.)
“We have been in the process of acquiring a number of large and midsize broker-dealers in recent years and recently closed on some of the acquisitions we announced,” Roth explained in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.
“Now, we are building an organic growth machine, and the firm is designed to help advisors grow their businesses and transition these businesses to the next generation, if they want to,” he said. “Our size and aggressive agenda around growing advisor businesses led us to reach out to David and ask him to help out.”
Ballard says part of his new role will entail “keeping an eye on the industry, the rapid growth of Cetera and the opportunities advisors have” ahead of them. He’s excited to help “frame an organization to take advantage of the best of best” in the IBD field.
In addition, Ballard will push Cetera Financial to take further benefit from economies of scale. “We have to work on great [infrastructure] plumbing and the great opportunities that arise as we share that with advisors,” he explained.